September 7, 2022


I’ve had my eye on this Michel Roux recipe* for a while and when the weather in France last month  turned from heatwave to unsettled muggy showers my thoughts wandered from ice cream to pudding and the opportunity arose.  

For some reason I don't buy oranges all that often but on this occasion I had several in the fruit bowl whispering "cake, cake" as I walked past.  The stars were once again aligned.

The recipe states that the top should be decorated with toasted almonds but I used strands of orange peel instead.  Toasting almonds is one of those tasks that I shy away from as they can turn from sweet and toasty to burnt and bitter in no time at all unless you keep your eye on them.  It's the sort of thing I can do if I have my ducks in a row and brain in gear but somehow those two things don't align quite so often these days, well certainly not this year anyway.

In the recipe it is suggested that you serve the cake with orange segments marinaded in whisky but I didn't do that either.  Instead I served a bowl of poached nectarines and plums alongside - because I had selected them from an abundance of gorgeous fruit in the greengrocer's a couple of days before.  Also because it would offer a choice of dessert for our guests - cake, or cake and fruit, or just fruit.  In the end everybody had both!  I also served a bowl of softly whipped cream to go with all options.  (You can see the recipe for the fruit on my blog here.)

It was a truly fabulous dessert cake!
The orange flavour was lovely and it was very moist, largely due to the syrup that you make and douse the cake with when it's still warm.  Just because of the syrup I have given the recipe two stars in the faff factor, although really it was not that much extra work and maybe one and a half stars would have been fairer.

I kept leftovers in the fridge and the cake was still moist and delicious several days later.  (It only lasted that long because we had a frenzy of catching up with friends and impromptu eating out over the next few days.)  Definitely a cake that I will make again.

*I hesitate to give a link to the original recipe.  On a few occasions recently when I have looked back at older posts on my blog where links have been given, strange things have happened.  Some links have disappeared altogether and some now link to something else entirely.  So I haven't added a link here and might not do again.  In fact I might even, over the long winter evenings, if I can be bothered and have finished all my half knitted jumpers, go back to more posts and delete all links.  

I will always acknowledge where the recipe comes from.  This one comes from a book called "cooking with the master chef" and if you Google the recipe you will find the original easily in several places on t'internet.

For the cake

50g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
225g caster sugar
250g ground almonds
250g unsalted butter at room temperature
1 tbslp finely grated orange zest (about two oranges)
4 eggs

For the glaze and decoration

80ml freshly squeezed orange juice (about 1½ oranges)
60g soft light brown sugar
1 tblsp orange marmalade
the coarsely grated zest or peel of 1 orange


Preheat the oven to 180°C / 160° fan/ gas mk 4.  Butter a 20cm springform cake tin and line the base with baking paper.

In a medium bowl, mix together the ground almonds and caster sugar, making sure there are no lumps.  Sift in the flour and baking powder.

In another bowl, using a hand held electric whisk, beat the butter with the orange zest until pale and fluffy.  Beat in the eggs one at a time.

Fold the almond and flour mixture into the second bowl until smooth.  Pour into the prepared tin, level the top and bake for 45 minutes or until cooked.

While the cake is baking, put the orange juice and brown sugar into a small pan and bring to the boil to make the syrup.  Set aside to cool.

When the cake is done, remove from the oven, prick the cake all over, right to the bottom, with a skewer and pour the cooled syrup all over.  Leave to cool in the tin.

When the cake is cool, run a knife round the edge of the cake and release carefully as it is slightly fragile.  Place on a cake plate or stand.

Warm the marmalade in a small pan and brush all over the cake.  Scatter the orange peel over the top to decorate.

Cuts into 8-12 slices.

1 comment:

  1. I really enjoy a dessert cake and this sounds ideal. I must admit that I don't buy oranges very often these days either (unless I need them for a cocktail) but I do love the flavour and the combination with ground almonds is definitely a winner.